The transgender experience is not really about gender. It is about the denial of normal socialization to children by adults with no empathy. These adults laugh and sneer at “queers, faggots, wussies, and girly men” and their children duplicate this behavior in the schoolyard. People born assigned as males who are too effeminate for the modern male society are excluded from community until they learn to leave themselves at the door. The modern male experience mirrors our warrior culture, and so males are taught to police their ranks for any semblance of the feminine. Trans kids become the sacrificial scapegoats for this directive, and they grow up lonely, confused, depressed, traumatized, and disconnected.
Those of us who have transitioned gender and know how much more whole we feel after the change can see through all of the claims that trans people are insane. Our definitions of male and female need to be expanded to include those outliers who exhibit traits contrary to their birth assigned gender. Yes, there are biological differences between males, females, and the rest. It’s not all socially constructed. However, the socially constructed part needs to change.
And the root of this problematic construction is in the church. Abrahamic faiths have been at the forefront of the oppression of LGBT individuals for millennia. I really don’t care if the church survives. We don’t need their help anymore. There is a reason that gay liberation arose alongside women’s liberation. Straight men have been the most antagonistic towards LGBT individuals, and as their power is diminishing, they are unable to stop the rise of others’ rights as they would have done in the past with a simple exercise of intimidation, terror, and denial of rights.
This problem is epidemic. We are surviving against the odds. But many if not most of us have some form of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I actually wouldn’t change my path, but I am really tired of the acceptance of the bullying and terrorizing of our helpless children before they know what transgender even means.
Having transitioned genders and lived under two hormonal paradigms (testosterone dominant and estrogen dominant), I actually am a stronger believer in the inherent differences between biological men and women than I was before I transitioned. Testosterone made me much more aggressive and assertive. I was much more interested in sports, and I was more sexually dominant. Estrogen has made me much more passive and congenial, and I am more sexually submissive. I can see the difference very starkly when I switch up my hormonal medications now as well.
I suppose that most people think that trans people are here to demolish gender and create this sexless environment, but that has been far from my personal experience. I think that hormonal differences can program people to be more effective in certain jobs, and so it is unlikely that certain jobs will ever have perfect gender parity. Honestly, I see the sexes as an evolutionary adaptation that allowed for specialization of labor in order to maximize survivability in early humans. We needed certain people to specialize in being nurturers and others to specialize in being explorers and hunters.
But now technological advances have dramatically decreased the value of those specializations and normalized the difference between maleness and femaleness. We don’t need men to go out and survive the jungle to get some venison. We don’t even need men to construct things with their physical size anymore. Robots do those jobs for us now, and they will continue to take up more market share. I don’t know about the statistics, but mechanization might be replacing typically male jobs at a faster rate than typically female jobs, and this dramatic drop in the social value of maleness might be contributing to our current social freak-out.
This being said, there is still value, in my opinion, in gender specialization. I don’t foresee a totally androgynous future because certain specializations based on inherent biological/hormonal differences will provide a competitive advantage on the margins in certain situations. We need some people to be the strident, rule-breaking, transgressors and others to be nurturing, Venusian caretakers.
However, we must allow for the cross-socialization of genders for those of us who exist on the fringes of typical maleness and femaleness. Although 90% of people will probably not have issues socializing with their biological peers, others of us are very damaged by being socially deprived of our peers who might not share our genitalia but ultimately are the people we need to socialize with. This kind of social deprivation happens with minorities outside of gender minorities, and this kind of social permeability is necessary for people like myself. We need to find the balance between a certain rigidity and permeability of structures in order to allow for the greatest possible socio-psychological flourishing.
So, I’m somewhat conservative and somewhat skeptical about the coming “evaporation of gender,” so I can identify with some of the “right wing” rhetoric. And yet, technology moves forward and disrupts our value structures unabatedly.